How To Choose A CPU Cooler In 2022

Are you building a new computer, or does your CPU cooler need to be replaced? When purchasing a CPU cooler, there are numerous things to remember. The CPU will be overclocked, right? As a result, the quantity of heat produced will rise. Do you have a limited amount of room? Cooling solution compatibility is a must. Yes, I would want it to be very spectacular. Let’s have a look at some of the most crucial things to look for in a CPU cooler.

For overclockers, the best CPU cooling is critical. The cooling sometimes limits your overclocking capabilities, particularly under prolonged loads. There might be a significant variance in noise output depending on the cooler you use. So if you want to prevent throttling and maximize your system’s performance, you need a cooler that can manage your best CPU’s thermal output/heat, whether at stock settings or when overclocked.

Most CPU coolers fall into three categories: air, closed-loop or all-in-one (AIO) coolers, or custom / open-loop cooling arrangements. Open-loop coolers are the most complex and costly option, but they provide the best cooling performance and aesthetics. We used a custom loop to create our Mirror Maze construct, which has a transparent coolant and several mirrored surfaces.

In some instances, closed-loop or AIO cooling is quieter than open-loop cooling since it does not need cutting and fitting customized utilize tubes or constantly monitoring coolant levels after installation. AIOs have also improved in terms of leak resistance and ease of installation over time. However, they may need a bigger enclosure than other air coolers because they need a radiator.

If an air cooler or AIO didn’t keep up with your clock rates, the next logical step would be to build a bespoke cooling loop with more oversized radiators that can remove even more heat from the system. When it comes to an AIO or custom-loop cooler, the bigger the radiator, the better (although things like flow rate and fin density also come into play). When it comes to high-end desktop (HEDT) processors, you don’t need to go with a three-fan cooler if you don’t intend to overclock. You can get away with something more modest on most popular platforms.

It’s not only about performance when choosing a new cooling system for your PC. Especially whether you’re installing or updating a media PC for the living room or an office PC in a setting where fan noise might be distracting, quiet operation is an important issue. Many enthusiasts and gamers prefer a calm system.

Things to Consider When Purchasing a CPU Cooler

  • Dissipation of Thermal Energy
  • TDP (Thermal Design Power) measures how much heat a CPU cooler can dissipate.
  • Your CPU can throttle (slow down) if the cooler isn’t keeping it cool enough.
  • The “Processor Base Power” and “Maximum Turbo Power” numbers are listed in Intel CPU specifications.
  • The TDP of the Core i9-12900K, for example, ranges from 125 watts to 241 watts, depending on the task at hand.
  • The TDP rating of a CPU does not have to be the same as the TDP rating of a CPU cooler. To keep itself cool, the CPU will ultimately drop its frequency.
  • Without appropriate cooling, the CPU may not be able to reach or sustain its highest turbo speeds.

Dishes To Keep Cold

Air coolers combine heatsinks and fans to dissipate heat. But they’re also the most obnoxious. A liquid cooler known as an “All-in-One” (AIO) is a closed-loop device. In a single pre-built box, all-in-one liquid coolers simplify the setup process.

More costly and requiring more space, liquid cooling may deliver even more excellent TDP performance while reducing noise. The size of the radiator and the number and size of the fans in your fluid cooling system will affect the noise level and capacity to cool your CPU.

Open-Loop Coolers are a subset of liquid coolers, but they are self-contained. They provide you with more options when designing your ideal cooling system, but they may also be more challenging to set up. For example, an open-loop system allows you to cool the GPU of your graphics card.


The more fans you have, the better the air conditioning will be. Because of it, there is a lot more noise. Because they can move the same quantity of air at lower speeds, giant fans are usually quieter than smaller ones. It will be noisier if more outstanding works at full speed to keep a CPU cool. A decibel (dB) is used to measure fan noise. 

Configuring your motherboard’s BIOS might allow you to utilize different fan speeds at different temperatures. Thanks to the adjustable fan speed, your computer may be completely quiet while it’s not in use.

Brackets For Installation

The mounting brackets for CPU coolers are available in various sizes to fit sockets of varying sizes. A suitable mounting bracket should be included with your cooler.

Searching by socket type is the most straightforward approach to discovering a CPU cooler that will fit your machine. Because the 12th generation Core i9 12900K has an LGA 1700 socket, you’ll need to look for an LGA 1700 CPU cooler. Even when a new socket size is introduced, there may not be many coolers capable of working with it. It’s possible to get a new mounting/retention kit to fit the revised dimensions if necessary.


Make sure your case and motherboard combination can handle a larger cooler before purchasing one. Make sure that your motherboard’s other components aren’t interfering with each other owing to space limits. So, are the heat spreaders on your memory modules (DIMMs) very tall? It’s not uncommon for dual-fan coolers to take up a considerable amount of space. Fans for liquid cooling systems are often mounted at the case’s top or bottom.

Selecting An Overclocking CPU Cooler

How well you can keep your CPU cool is critical if you want to overclock it. To avoid overheating, ensure your computer’s cooling system is working correctly. A decent air cooler might help you overclock your computer. The problem is that if the cooler isn’t keeping the CPU cold enough, your fans will continue to run at full power. In general, liquid cooling has a higher thermal design power (TDP) than air cooling. Liquid cooling may provide a quieter system depending on the radiator size, fan size, and the number of fans.

Choosing A CPU Cooler For A Gaming Computer

As with overclocking, the concerns for cooling a gaming CPU are the same. Air cooling may be sufficient if you don’t intend to overclock your CPU. You’ll need an air-cooled heatsink with one to two fans to prevent CPU throttling while playing games and other high-performance applications. Even if you don’t plan on overclocking your CPU, a liquid cooling system may help keep your computer quiet.